RachelWatch: An Abundance of Pundits


Today: Rachel chats with Ana Marie Cox, Nate Silver, and Eliot Spitzer. Plus Jeff Corwin!

Friday night on The Rachel Maddow Show is Anything Can Happen Night, and this one was no exception.

This time Rachel had a panel party! I’m trying to be a grownup and stop pretending that it turned into a slumber party, but so far it’s not working.

At any rate, Rachel welcomed Air America Radio’s Ana Marie Cox, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D), and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com for political, financial, and statistical insight and then a few rounds of “light as a feather, stiff as a board.”

Saturday Night Fever

Rachel and the gang, each with a different brightly colored mug, started off with the countdown to Saturday night’s scheduled 8 p.m. vote on whether the Senate could bring its version of the health care bill to the floor for debate.

Much of the speculation was on Conservadem holdouts like Senator Mary Landrieu (Lousisana) and Senator Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas).

Turns out you can get a surprising amount of political juice — not to mention pork – by simply announcing your intention to be a complete pain in the butt. Should we really be positively reinforcing this?

Rachel and Ana Marie Cox correctly noted that it’s a lot like a ransom situation, only with building projects.

The panel correctly predicted (SPOILER) that the Democrats would get their 60 votes, but completely missed Senator Lincoln’s decision that if she was going to make legislative history, by God she would be wearing historic neckwear for the occasion.

One More Thing:

Rachel mentioned earlier that Senator Joe Lieberman’s (I – Connecticut) staff won’t even return her staff’s calls, and on Friday she got independent confirmation that he has no intention of ever going on her show.

When asked, Lieberman said, “She’s got a point of view.”

By “point of view,” did you mean “principles,” Senator? I could see why you might find those unusual and scary.


Rachel ran a teaser clip of conservationist Jeff Corwin and a young orangutan and the whole thing was adorable right down to its opposable toes.

I’m Afraid. Not.

No episode of TRMS is complete without a segment that makes you question your faith in humanity, and Friday was no exception.

We started off with the good news, in which the town of Standish, Michigan told Liz Cheney and Keep America Safe where they could lock up their fearmongering about Gitmo detainees, and then moved on to an astonishing montage of the latest stomach-churning far-right buzzword.

Media Matters has a longer roll of shame just in case you’re not done being offended.

Fringe and Purge

Speaking of the charming tactics of the far right, Rachel and friends moved on to latest attempt at Scozzafavaing. Scozzafavization? Scozzafavoritism?

John McCain (R – Arizona) is now feeling some heat from J. D. Hayworth (Super Duper R – Arizona) in the upcoming race for his Senate seat, and Republicans all over the country are flipping their positions on climate change and bank bailouts and The Rapture in order to look conservative enough for the rabid teabaggers to vote for them.

Or at least not burn them in effigy.

Rachel and the panel wondered if triumphing in the next Republican primaries will require the winners to go so far to the right that when they emerge victorious, clutching animal pelts and Biblical apocrypha in their teeth, they will inevitably scare the dickens out of everyone else in the country.

But they’ll be pure!

One More Thing:

Doug Hoffman, the Conservative candidate that lost the Republicans a Congressional seat for New York’s District 23 for the first time since the Civil War, still has not figured out that it might be time to shut up.

Hoffman is now saying District 23 was stolen because of ACORN, which is so very powerful that it threw the results even though it doesn’t have a presence in the area and didn’t do any work with that election.

I think the far right has confused ACORN with Voldemort.

It’s the Stupid Economy

You want to see some pressure from the left? Or at least some heat?

Rachel and the panel were not fans of the way the Obama administration has handled the finance industry bailouts, and hoo, boy is Eliot Spitzer not a fan of Tim Geithner.

It’s fascinating, but in a way it ended up making me annoyed at Spitzer for being stupid about his sexing, because he could be a real watchdog in this area if he hadn’t exploded all his political capital with the scandal.

And then it made me angry at our society for tying those things together so much.

And then I thought, OK, yeah, but he was breaking the law and showing an incredible lack of judgment…

I may need to go watch that orangutan clip again.

Moment of Geek

Prepare to be heartwarmed, bummed out, intrigued, and vaguely panicked as Rachel chats with Jeff Corwin and shows clips from Future Earth: 100 Heartbeats.

Watch it in spite of those upsetting parts.

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